Maricopa County’s McDowell Mountain Regional Park is the next door neighbor to Fountain Hills, and park staff has a busy weekend of activities planned for the coming week.

Get lost in the desert with some trail therapy to connect with nature in the desert. This is an easy three-mile loop on the North Trail to gain a better understanding of the desert. Meet at the North Trail Trailhead at 11 a.m.

The Friday Fitness Hike on Feb. 22 is from the Four Peaks Trailhead in the park. The fitness hikes are 8- to 12-mile hikes at an exercise pace. Participants should have previous hiking experience.

This hike leaves from the trailhead at 8 a.m.

Introduction to Archery returns to the park on Friday, Feb. 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

This program teaches the basics of target shooting with bow and arrow in a safe, controlled environment.

Equipment is provided and participants must be at least 10 years of age. Space is limited so RSVP to Additional details will be provided.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, meet at the Visitor Center at 8 a.m. for a guided bird walk. Bring binoculars if you have them. The park has a few pair to loan if necessary.

Later on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., join in for a night sky adventure with Stargazing for Everyone.

Telescopes will be set up for viewing and there will be a slide presentation under the stars. Learn about constellations and planets. There also will be information about the Challenger Learning Center.

Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets and binoculars are encouraged. Meet at the Trailhead Staging Area.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park is part of the Maricopa County Park system. There is a $7 per vehicle fee to enter the park for day use.

The Nature Center is open Sunday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Program changes or cancellations are posted on the park website at, or call 480-471-0173, ext. 201.

For additional information, visitors may contact Ranger Amy Roberts at